Thursday, August 8, 2013

Playing Uno like Makao

Now that title may be puzzling to readers, except those in Poland. Today the temperature is floating close to 100 degrees, and we are basically outdoors all the time. It was hard to keep the children on task for learning English.

I tried some teaching first hour, for useful phrases such as May I go to the toilet and May I get a drink of water? They all wanted to practice those phrases and then ran out of the class to do those activities.

Second hour I decided to try something different. We made a word train and that seemed to keep everyone really engaged. Word train works like this. I started the train with the word computer. Someone had to think of a word that began with R is connect the "cars of the train." If red is the word, then the next word must begin with D.

We did a good job of covering the table with words.

 Here are three of the four boys in the class with some of the finished product. And I must add that one time the word was Rhianna followed Adele. I also impressed them when they wanted L to be Lewandowski and I could spell it!

For the third class hour we played Uno. In Poland there is a card game, played with a regular deck of cards, called Makao. It is a more complex version of what in the United States we call Uno. For example, if someone puts down the Draw 2 card and the next player has one of those, he/she puts it down and the third player ends up having to draw 4 cards. This rather puzzles new volunteer teachers who come to Poland until they learn about Makao. I really like to play Makao and do it with high school students, having them use their English skills to remind me what is special, for example about Jack of Clubs. For this age group, Uno is better because I make them say the color and number for cards they play, such as Yellow 4 and Green 7.

I am teaching this session in the art gallery building. This room has about a 20 foot ceiling for which I'm very grateful. Yes, heat rises. The building is also shaded by large trees. The morning is usually fairly comfortable, but the boy laying on the table rather exemplifies how the kids were feeling today.

The weather report is promising today is the last of this kind of temperature. Truly hope so!

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